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Is your strategic plan working for your business?

Strategic planning is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. It can help create structure for your business, keep your business on track to hit future goals and keep your business competitive in a changing marketplace. A solid strategic plan is important to a company’s success, but there are many reasons why a strategic plan can fail. Avoiding these common mistakes will help ensure your strategic plan is working for your business.

No Effort in the Planning Process

Creating a strategic plan simply for having one is only slightly better than having no plan at all. When it comes to creating a strategic plan, you get out what you put into it.

Never Using Your Plan.

Unlike a fine wine, your strategic plan isn’t going to get better just sitting on the shelf. Your strategic plan should be used regularly and reviewed frequently in order to be an effective management tool.

Inflexible Plans

Market conditions change and your company, along with its strategic plan, needs the ability to adapt to those changes.

Unrealistic Goals

Goals outlined in your strategic plan need to be manageable. Furthermore, it is better to have a few goals that are focused and realistic for your company than to have numerous ambiguous goals or unrealistically lofty goals.

Lack of Accountability

Once your plan is developed, use it and commit to it. Create consequences for not following through on your business strategy.

Ignoring Marketplace Conditions

Strategic planning is not a useful tool if it ignores the realities of your specific marketplace. Know and plan in advance for potential problems and unfavorable market conditions, even if they don’t impact your business immediately. Advance planning will leave your business better prepared for future challenges.

Vague Action Steps

Your strategic plan is a better management tool if it includes concrete action steps and defines what your business and management team need to be doing.

Lack of Commitment

Without the full support and commitment from the business owner and management team, a strategic plan will fall short of potential. In addition, it is difficult to be committed to a plan if one does not fully understand it. Management should have a full understanding of goals and how the strategic plan can improve the business.

Done right, a strategic plan is a valuable tool for your management team and can positively contribute to the overall success of your business. By avoiding common pitfalls during the creation and implementation of your strategic plan, you can build a realistic and effective plan for your business.